Currently mitigating a ‘Flashcrossover (and soon to deal with Deathstroke’s return), ‘Arrow’ season 3 hasn’t made very much of the appearance of DC baddie Ra’s al Ghul beyond the pursuit of Sara’s killer. That all changes with next week’s midseason finale “The Climb,” the first photos of which show Oliver (shirtlessly, of course) taking on the legendary Batman villain in a snowy duel!

Initially revealed on Stephen Amell’s official Facebook page, our first look at next Wednesday’s midseason finale sees Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law) escorting Oliver through a League of Assassins stronghold to face off with her father, himself last seen contemplating war with Oliver over the survival of Malcolm Merlyn. The previously-released synopsis bore no mention of Oliver’s confrontation with Ra’s, but still teased that Sara Lance’s death would hang over the hour in other ways:

Wednesday, December 10

“The Climb”

DINAH LANCE RETURNS HOME — Laurel (Katie Cassidy) is stunned when her father (Paul Blackthorne) delivers a very special Christmas gift – her mother, Dinah (guest star Alex Kingston). Thor Freudenthal directed the episode written by Jake Coburn & Keto Shimizu.

Everything we’ve heard suggests that Oliver might be out of commission for awhile in 2015, but thankfully (or frighteningly), well have Laurel taking up her sister’s mantle as Black Canary to pick up some of the slack. As for whether Ra’s al Ghul has any larger plans for Starling City as a whole, we’ll just have to wait and see! Immortal supervillains are usually a pretty laid-back bunch, right?

Oh, and before you glance downward, be aware that at least one of the photos reveals a pretty hefty spoiler toward one of the characters we’ve met in Oliver’s Hong Kong flashbacks! Check out our first look at ‘Arrow’'s midseason finale “The Climb” below, and give us your predictions for Oliver’s shirtless battle with the one and only Ra’s al Ghul!

The CW
The CW
The CW
The CW
The CW
The CW
The CW
The CW
The CW
The CW